Your Mouth And Your Health – The Truth About Gum Disease

\There has been a lot of discussion, news and commentary about all the recent research that  connected poor oral health to other health problems like heart disease and stroke. Some research has even gone as far as suggesting that the advanced stage of gum disease (periodontitis) could be related  to such issues as high blood sugar levels, pancreatic cancer, low birth  weight and bacterial pneumonia. With all this negative and potentially frightening news there’s something to keep in mind that has been stated by the American Dental Association … “Just because two conditions occur at the same time, doesn’t necessarily mean that one condition causes the other.” It’s clear that more research needs to be done on this subject before any actual, conclusive statements can be made. In reality, while gum disease can be a very serious disease, it can be prevented. At Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry we want our patients to be well educated and informed on what they hear versus what our collective years of knowledge, skill and experience knows about dental issues and how they affect you.

Overall Health and Dental Health – How They’re Connected

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the connection that seems to link the laundry list of health issues with gum disease stems from the bacteria in the mouth that develops in the mouth that then makes its way into the bloodstream. For people with healthy immune systems, this bacteria will not have any effect at all. There are possible circumstances which could have these bacteria or microorganisms linked to health problems like stroke and heart disease. Dr. Williamson and his well-trained and educated staff  understand how often times certain issues can become exaggerated and create unnecessary fear thus preventing you from getting the treatment you need. That is why we will take the time to cover any and every health issue or concern you may have with your dental care.

What is Gum Disease?

Basically there are two forms of gum disease

Gingivitis – the early stage of gum disease that often causes red, swollen and puffy gums that bleed easily. This is not simply, as many people believe, bad breath although that is a common symptom associated with it. Brushing twice a day and flossing is one of the easiest way to prevent gingivitis. 

Periodontitis – The advanced and more serious stage of gum disease which can cause bone loss and is not reversible. The gum tissue and bone that surround and support your teeth become seriously damaged and the teeth affected could become loose and fall out. This is what can occur  If gingivitis is left untreated. This is the stage of gum disease that has also been linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Essentially though as with many dental issues, proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing either stage of gum disease along with scheduled visits to our office.